Who are you? People ask me. They look at me slightly askew, and repeat: You are?

I’m the one who took the road early. I was born experienced, since my birth was preceded by pain and suffering. I almost gave up halfway, but then I said, “why not?” and chose to move forward.

I grew up aware. So aware, that suddenly, I found myself reading and writing. Counting and recounting. Adding, dividing and multiplying. I disliked subtracting. I was afraid to subtract in case I suddenly didn’t have anything left If I saw someone else humiliated, I could identify with them; I suffered and cried on their behalf, I could not understand why…..they allowed others do that to them.

Flying was the logical path. I flew as high as I could. Higher…and then just walking was too boring. That way was hard as ‘me’…so I ‘donned’ other people’s clothes…pretending I wasn’t me. Always the desire took me…to fly away, to learn everything I could…and then to return pretending I had learned nothing.

I was the shy girl, the coquette; ugly and beautiful, depending on who was looking. I was aware and silly. Creative. Sometimes common; I was a bit of everything, but never a girl who would ‘lie down’ and be ignored, try as they might…

And from the girl, I made a woman…this free woman! I chose the road. Walked my own detours. I have known pain and joy. I grew up, modified myself, changing like the seasons; like the sea. I learned to be: to be free and to give freedom. I cannot hide what I did, the marks are there to tell my story. I just do not feel the need to confess my sins. Why should I? I have already paid the price.

I recognise myself in many roles: professional, lover, mother, friend, teacher and learner. Sipping life as it comes. No nets to protect or sieves to separate. With an open mind, a light heart and a free soul, knowing that the only way to avoid being hurt would be to give up life altogether…

And now, I am starting on a new path, a path on which I am again experiencing life. They return to test and question me: Who are you? How can I answer them? How can I solve an enigma that changes every day? Then I invite them to walk by my side, to try to discover.

I make my destiny. I live free, and if I reveal something of myself, it is because I want to. I have no agreements. I do not give up my space. I don’t cry for those who don’t want me. And if I want someone, I’ll fight for them. If, on waking, I find my heart is broken…I’ll pick up the pieces and make another one…it may not be stronger, but it will be wiser!